The Spirit of Top Gear – Geek Jazz

On my birthday trip out we all popped along to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. It now has a special exhibit which is the contains many of the results of the Top Gear challenges.
I find Top Gear both hilarious and inspirational, and being a moderate petrol head its also a good subject matter.
Seeing the fruits of the production teams labour shows some brilliant, but deliberately flawed ideas.
Two fronted top gear car
Everything tends to “not go quite as we expected”. Which is of course the sort of thing you would expect like bolting the two fronts of cars together to make it easier to get away in reverse as above.
Its all brilliantly visual, but any techs out there know that this sort of mad idea and bolting together of things that shouldn’t be bolted together goes on all the time in software, you just can’t see it.
Many a time I have seen a project strap the software equivalent of a Reliant Robin to a large rocket on a tight budget in order to emulate the space shuttle.
top gear cars
Of course the spirit of engineering is to know when to smash things with a hammer and when added strength and design. Top Gear deliberately makes sure they tip the wrong side or working for comedy effect.
The cascade of constant changes and challenges their set piece projects face also mirror what we see all the time. Make something for one purpose and then a hand delivers a new envelope which is sort of what it was meant to do but requires a bit more hacking and bodging on top.
I shouldn’t delve too deeply in the clever approach they have developed, it ruins the magic and the humour.
Top Gear Geekage
More snaps of some of the pieces here
There is of course a production team hard at work for these guys, whilst they generally shun the sort of tech I deal with on a daily basis they are in fact geeks cut from the same cloth as the rest of us.
In order to hack and bodge things you do actually have to know how to to things properly in the first place, its kind of like Jazz, you need to be a skilled musician to improvise.

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